Najah Wakim

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Najah Wakim (born 1946) is the president and one of the founders of the Lebanese leftist group the People's Movement. He is a secular Lebanese lawyer who believes in secular Arabist ideology.

He managed to defeat Nasim Majdalani in 1972's Lebanese parliamentary elections for the Orthodox seat, and he was a supporter of Gamal Abdel Nasser.[1][2][3] He was not involved in any military work during the Lebanese Civil War. However, several death threats were issued against him and several attempts were made on his life most notably on October 1, 1987.[4] In 1982, he highly opposed the Israeli invasion of Beirut and voted against the Israeli-supported presidential candidate Bashir Gemayel. He rejected the 1989 Taif agreement claiming it is an American-Syrian agreement that only enhanced sectarianism in Lebanon.[5] Wakim won the parliamentary elections in 1992 and in 1996.[6] He boycotted the elections in 2000, opposing Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs.[7] He is known for his very strict opposition of the whole Lebanese regime and sectarian leaders.

But in 1998 while in parliament, Wakim voted for the election of Pro-Syrian President Émile Lahoud. He maintains strong links to Lebanese pro-Syrian figures such as Lebanese Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party MP Assem Qanso.

In 1999, he founded "The People's Movement",[8] a leftist group that calls for changes in the Lebanese political system and for better relationships between Arab countries. In 2001, his office was burned by arsonists who were not identified.

Najah Wakim was not involved in the pro-Syrian nor the anti-Syrian rallies in March 2005. However after the Syrian withdrawal, he attacked the March 14 Alliance claiming that the Syrian interference has been replaced with an American invasion of Lebanon. Even though the 2005 elections held the election law of 2000, and with an Arab political position, he fought the 2005 elections alone against the Hariri-LF-Hezbollah allied list and lost. He also ran for the 2009 elections but lost against the sectarian allies in Beirut. In the current Lebanese political scandal, Najah Wakim is a strict supporter to Hezbollah's arms and a great opposer to the government, who is currently considered as pro-American by many Lebanese parties.

Najah Wakim is the author of three books: Al 'Alam Al Thalith Wal Thawra (The Third World and Revolution), Al Ayadi Al Sud (The Black Hands) which is a foray into the political corruption in Lebanon in the days of the prime minister Rafiq Al Hariri. The other book contains his speeches and essays and is called Al Wahm Wal Amal (Illusion and Hope). All three books are in Arabic.

Books[edit]

  • Wakim, Najah (1982). Al 'Alam Al Thalith Wal Thawra. Beirut: Maʻhad al-Inmāʻ al-ʻArabī. OCLC 9974612. 
  • Wakim, Najah (1998). Al Ayadi Al Sud. Beirut: Sharikat al-Maṭbūʻāt lil-tawzīʻ wa-al-Nashr. OCLC 42397300. 
  • Wakim, Najah (2003). Al Wahm Wal Amal. Beirut: Dār al-Ādāb. OCLC 52443317. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gordon, David C. (1983). The Republic of Lebanon: Nation in Jeopardy. Westview Press Croom Helm. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-86531-450-4. Criticism of the government became increasingly vocal, and the power of traditional leaders began to be seriously challenged. In 1972 'Abd al-Majid al Rafi'i, a pro-Iraqi leftist, and Najah Wakim, a Nasserist, were elected to parliament. 
  2. ^ Denoeux, Guilain (1993). Urban Unrest in the Middle East: A Comparative Study of Informal Networks in Egypt, Iran and Lebanon. State University of New York Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-7914-1523-8. 6. Najah Wakim, a Greek Orthodox candidate to the parliamentary elections of 1972, won one of the seats allocated to his community in Beirut, thanks to the support of the Sunni electorate, while few Greek orthodox voted for him. 
  3. ^ Petran, Tabitha (1993). The Struggle Over Lebanon. Monthly Review Press,U.S. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-85345-651-3. In a Beirut constituency, Najah Wakim, twenty-six-year-old candidate of the Nasserist Union of Working Forces, won the Greek Orthodox seat, to the consternation of the community's leadership which charged he was elected by Muslim votes. 
  4. ^ "Lawmaker kills assailant in Beirut home". San Jose Mercury News. 1987-10-01. Retrieved 2010-10-30. A Parliament member shot and killed an armed assailant who broke into his West Beirut apartment today in an apparent assassination attempt, police said. A police statement said Najah Wakim, a pro-Syrian leftist legislator, used a Soviet-designed automatic pistol to kill the attacker. 
  5. ^ "Gemayel accuses Syria of sabotaging Taif Accord". Lebanon Wire. 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-30. Former MP and the head of the People's Movement, Najah Wakim, said Taif was not "the solution for the Lebanese crisis, but a document for distributing regional and international roles in Lebanon." "Taif did not provide any decisive solution for Lebanon's crisis because the main sponsors -- the U.S. and Syria -- had no intention of settling the crisis but wanted to divide influence and power in Lebanon between them... Security and foreign policy matters were handed to Syria and the rest, especially economic, was assumed by the U.S.," Wakim said. 
  6. ^ Johnson, Michael (2001). All honorable men: the social origins of war in Lebanon. I.B.Tauris. p. 238. ISBN 978-1-86064-715-4. The leftist Greek Orthodox member of parliament, Najah Wakim, a vocal critic of Hariri, also won, but with a reduced share of the vote compared with his 1992 result (MEED, 13 September 1996). 
  7. ^ Johnson, Michael (2001). All honorable men: the social origins of war in Lebanon. I.B.Tauris. p. 246. ISBN 978-1-86064-715-4. Najah Wakim, the radical Greek Orthodox member of parliament in Beirut, stood down in 2000 rather than tolerate what he described as Syrian interference in the electoral process. 
  8. ^ NOW Staff (2007-07-04). "What if there were a second government?". NOW Lebanon. Retrieved 2010-10-30. A staunch Arabist who describes himself as opposed to “everything,” Wakim founded the People’s Movement or Harakat as-Sha’ab in 1999. The People’s Movement is, admirably, one of the most confessionally diverse political parties in Lebanon.